Millions of smartphones worldwide running older operating systems will no longer be able to use messaging app WhatsApp as of February 1st. WhatsApp is a global messaging app with over a billion daily users.
Regardless of brand, users running outdated software will not be able to run the current version of WhatsApp. WhatsApp will lose support for phones running Android 2.3.7 and older, similarly, iPhones running iOS 8 and older.
On the other hand, smartphones running Linux-based KaiOS 2.5.1 and older will still be supported. These include the JioPhone and JioPhone 2.
For continuous use of the messaging application, WhatsApp recommends users upgrade their software to the latest version. Users with the above-mentioned devices already have the option to create new accounts or even update with existing accounts.
Consequently, the decision to withdraw support was made in 2017. Most importantly, the company noted the decision was made to protect user security.
“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future,” The company said in a statement.
The Facebook-owned company has been gradually withdrawing support for outdated mobile phones over the years. For instance, support for Nokia S40, Android 2.1 and 2.2, Windows 7, BlackBerry 10 and iOS 6 was withdrawn in 2016.
How many people use WhatsApp worldwide?
WhatsApp currently has 1.5 billion active users worldwide. It’s userbase spans to over 180 countries out of all 193 countries in the world. In countries such as Saudi Arabic, approximately 73% of the population uses the messaging application.
Altogether, dropping millions of phones probably won’t affect the success of the company. WhatsApp is also available on the web. In this case, most of the devices no longer supported are rarely in use anyhow.